SALEM TWP., Pa — Matt Traczynski earned a hat-trick as the Hempfield Spartans defeated the Franklin Regional Panthers, 7-3, Monday night at Center Ice Arena.
Hunter Smiles got the Spartans on the board first as his shot from the face-off beat Franklin Regionals goaltender at 14:49 of the first period. Hempfield’s lead lasted less than a minute as Chase Williams tied things up at 15:38 while on a Panthers power play.
Early in the second period, Nicholas Bruno found the back of the net through the five-hole to put the Spartans back on top at 2:59. Hempfield continued their fast paced play and it was Traczynski who scored twice in a :30 seconds to give the Spartans a three point lead midway through the second. Franklin Regional fought back within one off the sticks of Jack Pekor (11:11) and Trent Lunden (12:38).
Hempfield did not let off of the gas after the ice cut. Traczynski completed his hat-trick at 5:33 while the Spartans were short handed on a 4-on-3. Aiden Dunlap put the score out of reach of Franklin Regional, scoring twice for Hempfield in the final period (6:44 and 11:15).
Gunner Fulton got the start in net for Franklin Regional. Fulton finished the night stopping 40 of 47 shots on net.
Joe Behler got the start in net for Hempfield. Behler finished the night stopping 17 of 20 shots on net.
- With the win, Hempfield sits in a tie with Franklin Regional, both with 18 points, for the second playoff spot in Class-2A Southeast.
- Hempfield holds the tiebreaker against Franklin Regional by winning both games between the two teams. The Spartans defeated the Panthers, 9-4, in their season opener on Oct. 7th, 2019.
- Hempfield has played one less game than Franklin Regional after tonight’s contest.
The Franklin Regional Panthers will have a shared ice rivalry game against the Penn-Trafford Warriors at Center Ice Arena on Tuesday, Feb. 11th, at 8pm.
The Hempfield Spartans will travel to the Mt. Lebanon Ice Center to face the South Fayette Lions on Monday, Feb. 10th, at 7:10pm.